Supporting a small business means more than just stopping by their shop on Small Business Saturday (you know, the day after you go crazy at all the big box stores...). There are ways to support these businesses every day of the week, 365 days a year. Some of them don't even cost any money!
Let me start by defining a small business. Personally, the image that comes to my mind is someone who owns a boutique gift shop downtown in the suburbs. That's maybe 1% of the small business population... The rest ranges from auto body shops to all forms of artists to clothing brands to tech companies. The possibilities are endless! I would define a small business as any company (I'd say less than 30 people) or a single person who makes a living creating, servicing, and selling. Often times they work locally, but not always. This is not an official definition by any means, but at least it should help to broaden the spectrum a little more!
Now to the good stuff. I'm going to be honest with you...the best way to support a small business is to, drum roll, please...
BUY THEIR STUFF!!!
Hands down. That's how they make a living. Sure giving them a pat on the back is nice, but pats-on-the-back don't pay the bills. Now, I know you don't always need to buy their product/service (you're not going to pay to get your car fixed if it's not broken), so I have a list of ways to support small businesses for free, 365 days a year.
1. Write a review/recommendation
If you have had a positive experience with a small business then shout it from the rooftops! Often times, reviews are one of the main ways they get new customers. Someone else sees that they had a good experience and they think "hey, maybe I'll have a good experience too." Small businesses don't have the big-name reputation like Nike or Target, so they rely on reviews.
Additional read: Why + How to Write a Review
2. Like + share their work
Follow them on social media and show your support with the simple click of a button. Every like counts and every share reaches just that many more people. There is so much nonsense on our feeds, why not share something truly valuable.
3. Comment on their posts
Every social interaction counts. Trust me, I hate that this is the way the world works, but here we are. Even commenting a simple emoji or "Love this!" goes a long way. Both for boosting their digital presence, but also you are literally telling an individual you like their stuff, not the 50 people working on Target's Instagram.
4. Refer your friends
Know someone looking for a birthday cake? Don't send them to Cub Foods - tell them about the little bakery on the corner! I know from personal experience that word-of-mouth is one of the biggest reasons for new business.
5. Don't ask for a discount
This is a big one...if you are in the market to purchase from a small business, for the love of God, do not ask for a discount!! Just because it's your buddy, or your mom went to high school with the owner, does not mean you deserve a discount! Do you go to Target and ask the cashier if they can "just knock $10 bucks off" the necklace you wanted. NO! Small business owners and creators work hard, put their blood, sweat, and trust me - tears into their work. If you truly value and want to support someone, pay full price.
6. Purchase a gift certificate
Another great way to spread the word about a small business is to buy a gift card/gift certificate. Not only are you putting your money where your mouth is, but you are also passing that experience on to someone else! Even if you decided to use it for yourself, you're guaranteeing business for that small shop.
7. Don't cancel, reschedule
If you do have an appointment with a small business and for whatever reason (assuming it's not because of something bad with the small business lol), rather than canceling your appointment, reschedule! Talk with them about rescheduling options before jumping to the conclusion of canceling. Or even if you're ordering something, they might let you save the order for later rather than completely ending it.
It's those who cheer on small businesses that make it possible for people to follow their dreams. For me personally, I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the support of the community around me. I can't thank you enough for being my cheer squad and helping me and so many others. ❤️
If you feel inclined to support freelancers, artists, and small businesses, share these tips with others and put them into practice. If you feel inclined to support me, I've attached my links below on where to do so.
From all freelancers, artists, and small businesses out there, thank you!
My Support Link
1. Write a review/recommendation
3. Support on social
Share on Pinterest 👇